Saturday, February 23, 2019

Off grid and sustainable systems talk with David Morgan (The Silver Guru)

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from Erin T Scott:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dxc_YlB9Ekw&t=5s

5 Tips You Need to Know When Bugging Out in a Trailer

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by Jeremiah Johnson, Ready Nutrition:

There are many completely everyday occasions during the summer months when a trailer is a nicety: that happy family vacation to a remote wilderness area, or the family trip to the beach. Visiting the relatives in another state without imposition. The list runs on and on. What about for a disaster as a backup residence? What about a complete collapse? A travel trailer can be much more than just a recreational vehicle.

We saw the practicality for campers in The Walking Dead. Granted, they are bulkier and slower but provide essential shelter during a full-on disaster event. Keep in mind, this is not a piece designed to address the human factors of displaced marauders or the “need” for allies and alliances. You’re going to have to assess what is in your area and where you estimate the human “flow” will occur relative to where you’ll be, as well as whatever territorial tribal “fiefdom” or enclave you’ll have to pass through, or around. The article addresses the basics.

Apartment Dweller Prepping- Part 2

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from Survival Blog:

When I relocated to the big city and moved into a shared apartment, I began to simultaneously look at prepping and consider how to make this work– living with others and trying to be prepared for a disaster.

What I’ve Learned From Experience (continued)

I’m writing about what I’ve learned over year’s of experience of living through power outages and disaster, including Hurricane Sandy. In covering topics for apartment dwellers, we have taken a look at storage, food, and water.

Security

When I was moving out from my childhood home, I tried to figure out how I could get my 12 gauge, Mosin-Nagant, revolver, Glock, and accompanying ammo and kit to my new tiny apartment. According to everything I had seen, I needed to cover all of my bases to be well prepared. It wasn’t until I had everything laid out that I realized how ridiculous this was going to be for my situation.

I put everything, except the Glock, in the safe at the family home. In the event I would need to use my firearm in a defensive situation, I had it. If you are in an area where your 2nd Amendment rights aren’t restricted or you’ve jumped through the necessary hurdles to access them, my feeling is having a secured firearm is a great tool to have. I’m putting an emphasis on “secured”, especially so if you are living with roommates. If a firearm is out of the question, be sure to have a means to defend yourself. Whether you feel more comfortable with a baseball bat by the door or a can of pepper spray on your person, be sure to have a means to protect yourself, if need be.

 

Security and Situational Awareness

Aside from the security a gun in a nightstand can bring, be sure to put an emphasis on the little things like locking doors and windows and maintaining good situational awareness. I’ve used these everyday and been thankfully never to be in a situation where I needed anything more.

Security Section Summary: Be secure in your place and person by having a means to protect yourself and keeping your living space safe.

Finances

With even junk silver outside the reach of most recent graduates, financial security can be tricky. Tackling debt and bills takes priority to long-term security things like precious metals provide. When Hurricane Sandy hit and the power went out, all of a sudden cash was king. ATMs were inaccessible, and credit cards became useless pieces of plastic. This wasn’t a TEOTWAWKI situation where people were reduced to bartering or precious metals were in play as a new currency. The power was coming back soon, and people still needed the power to buy and sell.

A Financial Plan For What Feels Insurmountable

While many sources recommend keeping three months of living expenses in the bank for times of need, that can feel like a pretty insurmountable task to those who may not have a goose egg sitting in their savings accounts. And even if they have that money, if it is in the bank it’s difficult to access with the power out. Keeping cash on hand is a great way to be prepared for an emergency. If money is tight, start with an achievable goal. Try to save enough money in a month to put $50 aside for emergency use. Put it in an envelope and sock it away somewhere where it won’t get mixed up with grocery or fun money.  Then the next month, try again. Repeat during the following months, and when you can, try to save a little bit more here and there.

This system worked well for me and has been a lifesaver when the power goes out and I need to buy something locally. Some helpful advice I discovered was to keep some small bills on hand. During Sandy everyone seemed to have $20 bills floating around, but no one could break them.

Finances Section Summary: Keep cash on hand that is designated for use only in an emergency.

Energy

I would have loved a generator to keep things humming when the power went out. But with no money or way to store the generator or gasoline, this is another pipe dream that doesn’t help someone in an apartment. For those that have a car, an inverter and some extension cables can turn your car into a generator. But idling a car unsupervised on a street with 200 feet of extension cables running into an apartment building isn’t a realistic option. This is doubly so, if you don’t have a car, like many folks who live in a densely packed city.

My first instinct was to figure out how to power my fridge. The reality is this is a lost cause. The power demands were beyond what I was capable of fueling. During an emergency, I now look at my fridge as a giant cooler. Most of what I keep in the fridge or freezer will be good for 48 to 72 hours without worry. Minimizing opening and closing and adding extra insulation, like blankets, can help preserve the cold trapped inside.  If you have fresh or frozen food in the fridge or freezer, plan on eating it first before you break into your dry goods.

Energy for Cell Phone

I found my biggest need for energy during an emergency has always been my cell phone. It allows me to stay connected to friends, family, and emergency personnel. It also is a great source of information about what is happening near me. If I had to focus on one thing to power in an emergency it would be my phone. Having a portable cell phone charger that can charge your cell phone multiple times can be lifesaver. By minimizing your phone use and having access to one of these beefed up batteries, you can stay connected through most extended emergency situations.

Energy Section Summary: Have the means to charge your mobile device, such as a portable charger, so you can stay connected and informed.

Bug Out Bag

A grab and go, get out of dodge pack or bug out bag (B.O.B.) has got to be one of the founding pillars of the prepping pantheon. A quick search of “bug out bags” on YouTube yields 1.3 million plus results. Google yields 9.3 million results. There are all sorts of different takes on what you need and what you don’t need. It is incredibly easy to get lost in the woods with the volume of information available, not to mention all of the pre-made packs for sale that seem to be more sizzle than steak.

I can honestly say I had to stop and start over several times during my initial forays into putting together a bug out bag because I was second guessing nearly everything. One trusted source on YouTube would say this item is a must have and another respected blogger would say you don’t need to bother with it. It was classic “paralysis by analysis”. The “Ah-Ha!” moment for me was when someone simply said to think of your bug out bag as what you would personally need if you were going on a week long trip but might not be able to come home.

What Goes In A Bug Out Bag

A week’s worth of clothes and basic travel toiletries is a good start. Be sure to have any vital personal documents you use regularly (passport, social security card, birth certificate, et cetera) in one place so they can be packed in it on the fly. An extra cell phone charging cable or a portable charger dedicated to the bag is a great addition (and commonly forgotten during non-stressful times!). A way to entertain yourself and others, like a book, camp games like Farkle, or a deck of cards is a nice bonus.

Snacks like protein or candy bars can provide a boost of energy and some comfort in a pinch, while not taking up too much room. Storing your emergency cash in your B.O.B. means if you have to leave you have it with you. And from there you can fill out the rest, based on your specific needs or preferences.

Now, what I described is certainly a bug out bag, but it’s also the same packing list I have used for recent vacations and road trips. You don’t have a quest to find the perfect bug out bag. Just determine what will work for you and get it packed. Just having something ready to go puts you ahead of the pack.

Bug Out Bag Section Summary: Figure out what you would need for a week long trip and take along anything you feel you would need if you could not come back home.

Read More @ SurvivalBlog.com

We Never Could Have Imagined (or Prepped For) What Actually Happened in Venezuela

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by J. G. Martinez D., The Organic Prepper:

Can we prepare for everything?

We never could have imagined…or prepped for…what happened in Venezuela.

In this article, I wanted to analyze my preps, and the nature of the apocalypse we have been forced to face. I don’t know about you, but anything that kicks you out of your place, of your warm bed, your pets, kids, wife, and the rest of your family, for me does not have another better word to describe it.

My comfort bubble was destroyed, my work of an entire life was thrown out by the window, my family insurance full coverage policy is gone with the wind (although with no medications to be had and doctors running away to Argentina and Colombia, it’s not like it was very useful though), and the few preps I had for 4 or 5 months are history now. Of course, they worked pretty well, and we stretched it a little bit, but once the system collapsed, there is nothing else we can do but close the place and bug out to some other place where we can at least buy food.

What happened was something entirely different from what we had prepared for.

I guess that what I mean is, that, within our means, we prepared more or less adequately, but what really happened was something entirely different that we had not prepared for.

We prepared for some of the consequences of turmoil, unrest, riots, crime. We were able to hunker down for a while and able to defend ourselves silently and seriously, without having to leave our haven. The scarcity problems started back there around 2013-2014. Those years were the last time I remember we could buy large amounts of wheat flour, corn flour for arepas (yes, those yellow packages you see people fist fighting each other for on the web), pasta, powdered and UHT packaged milk, rice, and other staples.

An economic collapse this long seemed like something that was entirely out of the question. It was entirely unpredictable. I would have expected a pandemics or a coup d’etat long before this hungry zombie-like scenario.

We knew something disturbing was going to happen sooner or later. We could feel it in the atmosphere…but nothing like this. We never thought it would be impossible to find a battery, or engine oil, or gasoline (Jeez, this was an oil-producing country!!) or that kids were going to be endangered in the very door of their schools. In the worst of our nightmares we could have imagined that one of our rescued cats that we relocated with one of our friends in a barrio was going to suffer a horrendous death (please don’t ask for details).

We never could have imagined that the oil and electricity state companies employees were going to be threatened with imprisonment for treason if they tried to quit their jobs to leave the country. Because THAT IS HAPPENING. When I found about this, I felt a deep sensation of relief as never in my life because I had left. The only similar feeling I can think about, was when my last son was born, and the doctors told me he was just fine, like a champion, and no reasons to worry about.

Under the current situation, being accused of such terrible charges is a complete nightmare. But with the income from the online freelance work, we have been able to at least keep the home running, without the tiny salary that once was more than enough for a good living. Without it…our family would have been condemned to doom, no matter our preps.

So quitting and leaving the country (and my family) behind was one of the choices that have been the hardest in our lives, but the most sound, and the most assertive in the long run. Just by avoiding the potential danger of being (falsely of course) accused of treason and getting in a messy problem, it’s already a huge benefit. I have always given trust to female intuition. When my wife and I discussed about how bad things were going, and the decision for me to leave first, I knew it was her intuition speaking.

We never imagine that cash was going to be another commodity, and that the prices were going to be much different if you tried to pay with debit card instead of cash. If you pay with a debit card, the price will be double than if paid in cash. This is not surprising: the rate of the circulating cash to the non-circulating is deeply distorted. There are people even SELLING the cash: you transfer them one million BsF to their bank accounts, they will give you 500 or 600.000 cash. And that is barely enough for two dozen eggs and some cheese.

In retrospect, what could we have done to prepare for the current situation?

Let’s see.

  • A 5 years antibiotics supply, for each family member (please include pets, they could be sick or get wounded too, and we consider them members too), with the assistance of good will, close doctors. This should be considered as an insurance policy; a non-transferable, secret stash of medications for the worst scenario. Cefadroxil, penicillin, and some other similar stuff.
  • Diarrhea stopping meds
  • Serum
  • Needles and tubing
  • Surgical gloves
  • Breath cover masks, and a couple of reusable syringes that you could sterilize in a small backpack stove or a bonfire in the backyard…
  • A solar power array with a small battery pack just for lighting
  • A large, buried diesel custom-made aluminum tank with a proper sized generator (there is not too much space left in our place: we live in a subdivision, houses are wall to wall next to each other) with a homemade silencer, and adequately rigged to the wiring of the house for the largest systems, like freezers and air conditioning. Specially designed plastic diesel tanks would have been best as they don’t rust and they are cheap and strong; but the aluminum seemed a better idea because they make it with the size you want, and as the space is limited I would have optimized it. It could have been possible even designing an aesthetically attractive setup, something like a strong wood frame with the tank on top, and with a small hanging plants gardening to obstruct the view of the tank, and wrapping the feeding lines to the generator in ivy.
  • Enclosing our garage before the steel rebar disappeared from the white market and the production was destined to the black and grey market. (I hate fencing, it is like living in a birdcage, but this would helped a lot for peace of mind).
  • A sun-protected small herb garden in the roof of the small workshop in the back of the house, with spices and medicinal plants. The excess of production (These are the tropics, plants here grow like weeds from one week to another, remember, lots of sun and rain) could be exchanged for some staples.
  • Perhaps a chicken coop with a couple of hens. The eggs price has been so inflated this days that a single egg costs more than the minimum wage. A hen produces more than a laborer. Do you remember that stories about the eggs, chocolate, and potatoes acting as currency in the WWII? It is becoming currency here too.
  • Perhaps even growing our own sugar cane to squeeze, grind and get what we call here “papelon” (solidified sugar cane juice) for sweetening would be possible in our small front garden
  • A couple of corn rows, not the hybrid Monsanto genetically modified crap that needs industrial fertilizer, weed killers and unable to generate seed, but the Amazonic variety: larger production in much smaller time, just needs sun (we have more of it than what we would like) and water.
  • Another SUV, with a much taller ground clearance, larger tires, diesel-powered with no electronics and a huge front fender. Something heavy, strong, black or dark grey, windows covered by that plastic clear bullet proof sheeting, able to plow a pack of thugs in motorcycles out of the way without a blink.

Yes, I know how it sounds. But I don’t care after some things I have known these MFs can do, like a guy being shot 30 meters from the person who told me the story by a criminal in a motorcycle, and me and my family almost being stopped in a desert road at 8pm in the middle of nowhere with a log in the middle of the way (I just push it to the floorboard, and we jumped over it).

There is no possible way to have stockpiled pasta and other dry goods for such a long period without buying another house, or building a second floor adding about 60 or 70 square meters to the house. And even so it would have been risky: someone watching in the wrong moment and we would have been in deep trouble, accused of “hoarding” and yadda yadda (insert your favorite “socialist” excuse for stealing private property here). Our goods seized, the 10% sold in public to “the poor people” for the government-owned newspapers and the 90% stolen by you-know-who.

Self-supplying proteins with our current setup in a subdivision is much harder. There is not too much space. Rabbits and other rodents are out of the question as the flies their poop attract here in the tropics are a problem, and economically not viable by the way. The cleaning products and food are too expensive and, as you must suppose, scarce. The people in country cottages already will be much better prepared than we nerdy, espresso-addicted, city dwellers.

Read More @ TheOrganicPrepper.ca

The Government Does NOT Want You To Grow Your Own Food! Here’s Why You Should And How!

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from Press For Truth:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IcqMJtgM2h8

More Data that Good People With Guns Save Lives

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from Ammoland:

U.S.A. -(Ammoland.com)- You might never need to defend yourself. That depends on both luck and skill. According to FBI statistics, someone in your family will be the victim of violent crime over your lifetime. Fortunately, you can defend yourself with more than good luck, but only if you are prepared. Self-defense happens. About 6 thousand honest gun owners defend themselves every day. Vice magazine said they couldn’t find those examples of armed self-defense, so we’ll do it for them. The truth is easy to find once you look.

Cape Town, South Africa- TEOTWAWKI

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by Greg, Survival Blog:

It was a sunny Friday afternoon with a still wind when the end of the world as we know it happened. No, there was no nuclear explosion overhead, no EMP, no invasion from Russia, and no alien landing.

A Disaster in the Making

Mother nature provided the scene for this disaster. Cape Town South Africa is a place of beauty and home to one of the seven natural wonders of the world– the cape floral kingdom. It’s known as a peaceful holiday town and popular venue for film stars and the rich and famous alike. Who would have suspected that there was a disaster in the making?

3 Ways to Make Food Go Further That Will Help You Now (AND When the SHTF)

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by Daisy Luther, The Organic Prepper:

A lot of folks think those Depression Era techniques for stretching food are only for a worst case, SHTF scenario. But in truth, those ideas are good for every day, because the price of food just keeps going up, up, UP. It’s more important now than ever to make your food go further.

The ability to make the food you have feed more people (and leave them feeling full and satisfied) will stand you in good stead if things go horribly wrong. But I think it’s important to do this in the meantime too. If we went back to the ways that our grandmothers made food last during the Great Depression, we could take a big chunk out of our grocery bills, eat more scratch cooking, and stop wasting so much food.

Building the dream (part 1): Prepper Fatigue

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by Dr Jerome, TF Metals Report:

Back in the tumultuous days of 2011, I was certain that the world economy would crash at any moment. Some would say my wife and I had already bugged out, living an hour from any large metropolitan area (that is actually our old home pictured here… brings back many good memories now). We lived in a modest house on a 5 acre wooded property on the edge of a 40K town. But I was troubled.

About that time, The whole family watched a movie (mainstream propaganda) that portrayed the bug out of a prepper family during a false alarm of power outages. They bugged out to their dream property with its underground bunker. The story was clearly intended to dissuade people from prepping. But it asked a fair question: “Am I willing to shoot neighbors who come to get my food?” I am still pondering that one, but I think I know the answer. And in this town, those neighbors would be coming.

The Supplement One NFL Player Took For Injury Recovery and Went on to the Super Bowl

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by Joshua Krause, Ready Nutrition:

Ready Nutrition Readers, as you know I’m an avid proponent of exercise and fitnesstraining. It is not the focus of my life, but I focus a large portion of my life on it, as it benefits me in every area. There is a supplement that is good for athletes, good for people with physical problems, ailments, and challenges, and the supplement has a wealth of documented use historically with success. That supplement is Deer Antler Velvet extract.  Before we get into it, let’s talk some “pointy-ball.”

During the 2012 pro-NFL season, the press and the NFL were giving Ray Lewis of the Ravens (one of the greatest middle linebackers of all time) a rash of static for taking Deer Antler Velvet.

How To Grow Spinach

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by Tess Pennington, Ready Nutrition:

Spinach is one of the first seeds you can plant for a spring harvest and a wonderful source of Vitamin A and one of the healthiest sources minerals and nutrients that we can grow. It is considered a superfood because of all the nutrition these little leaves are packed with.

Varieties, such as Bloomsdale Long Standing Spinach are cold-hardy, tender-leafed crop that is ideal for being planted in very early spring, as well as in fall and winter. Spinach is a fast-growing vegetable that is a great late fall or winter crop because it can survive a frost and temperatures down to 15ºF.

Common spinach problems such as bolting and pests like damping off and Downey mildew are sometimes caused by the way we grow the plant and environmental conditions. To remedy this, use natural compost or soil amendments in the soil, add mulch, and grow in cooler weather conditions.

Similar to lettuce, spinach seeds germinate very quickly and can be started up to 10 weeks before the average last frost date in your area. In fact, it is such as easy vegetable variety to grow. It’s truly a plant-it-and-forget-it garden addition because beyond thinning, there is no additional cultivation or fertilizing necessary. As well, it can be grown in a brightly lit windowsill or in a container garden for easy access.

Starting Spinach From Seed (45 days to mature)

  1. If you are planting indoors, follow this indoor seed starting guide. If growing outdoors, select a site with full sun to light shade and well-drained soil.
  2. Sow seeds ½ inch to 1 inch deep, covering lightly with soil. Sow about 12 seeds per foot of row, or sprinkle over a wide row or bed.
    Soil should not be warmer than 70º F in order for germination.
  3. Spray containers with a fine mist spray bottle or lightly with a water nozzle to moisten the soil.
  4. Seeds should germinate in a few days. Once seedlings emerge, ensure they have access to part-sun or are in a sunny location.
  5. When seedlings sprout to about two inches, thin them to 3-4 inches apart.
  6. Plant more seeds every couple weeks during early spring for successive planting.

Harvesting Spinach Leaves

Once five or six good leaves have grown on the spinach plant, it’s time to start harvesting. For sweeter spinach leaves, pick them with the plants are young. When the spinach plant is mature and ready for harvest, some simply cut the entire plant at the base, but there are other methods that will allow for a longer harvest. Leaves can be picked either by cutting the leaves with scissors or picking the outer, older leaves first and then gradually working your way to the center of the plant as those leaves mature. Harvesting spinach by this method will often allow it to re-sprout and give you another partial harvest.

Read More @ ReadyNutrition.com

A Prepper’s Guide to Cold Weather Gear: 10 Must-Haves to Stay Warm in the Harshest of Conditions

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by Jeremiah Johnson, Ready Nutrition:

ReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, this piece is akin to a checklist with a few extra suggestions you can use to prepare for the coming of the cold weather before it arrives.  In past articles, we talked about the necessity of having go/GOOD/Bug-out bags packed seasonally.  Those preps for the seasonal changes are critical and can mean the difference between life and death when the need arises.

Read The Green Beret’s Winter Survival Training Guide for more information on surviving in extreme weather conditions.

A Prepper’s Guide to Cold Weather Gear

Let’s cover some of the important concepts of gearing up for the Fall and winter.

Proper sleeping bag: remember to switch off those lighter summer bags for a winter-weather/extreme cold weather sleeping bag, preferably with a Gore-Tex cover. Don’t forget a good, reliable ground pad to rest on…remembering the importance in preventing conduction (the passage of body heat into the ground, and cold from the ground into the body).

Gore-Tex “Monster”: That’s right! Become the Gore-Tex Monster!  You need a good Gore-Tex top and pants to protect you from the cold and the moisture.  Gore-Tex breathes and it is reliable. They have Gore-Tex jackets too. Just remember not to lean too close to the stove or the fire and melt it. Read more on what to wear in the harshest of environments.

Footgear/Thermals/Socks: All of these are vital to winter weather preparedness. Make sure that you pack heavy socks and have at least one change of each packed in a waterproof bag and stuffed in your pack. Read more about protecting your feet and how important it is.

Foods to pack: Stick with dried and dehydrated stuff, such as jerky, dehydrated vegetables, and fruits. The canned stuff is tough to protect from a freeze.  The dehydrated stuff can be reconstituted easily enough with water.  If you have snow, you have water.  Don’t forget “Vitamin R” …that’s Ramen!  Pasta is great stuff for a base and some carbs.  Load up also on vitamin c and multivitamins in your pack.

ORS: Oral Rehydration Solutions. I wrote a good bit about them in past pieces.  These guys are the next best thing to an IV and you don’t even need a catheter.  Dehydration is a biggie in the cold months…this is because people become cold and they naturally shy away from drinking water.  Remember: thirst is a late sign of dehydration.

Fire starting equipment: waterproof matches, lighters, and material to start it with. Another option is to buy a “fire log” and saw it/cut it down into manageable pieces.  That’s what Firestarter is that you buy from all these “pioneers” such as Coleman for 3 or 4 dollars.  The Fire-log costs you a little more and then supplies you with enough material for 100 of those Coleman packages.

First Aid supplies: remember that things freeze. Not alcohol!  There are your disinfectant pad and any kind of stuff for sanitation.  Also, pack some hand warmers to warm up IV fluids if you ever give one in the fall or winter.  It’ll take away the shock of that cold fluid hitting into your patient.  Also for thawing out water or IV bags if needed. Read more on requirements for cold weather injuries.

For water, if you’re going to be out for extended periods of time, you may wish to empty some of the water out of your canteens for if it freezes to prevent canteens from splitting (although I’ve never seen this with military issue canteens. During the winter months, I carry stainless steel canteens from WWII and fill them up ¾ of the way.  Should it freeze, then I’d just set it on the coals and thaw it out.

Radios: check out your commo gear and make sure your batteries are fresh with spares packed.

Ammo, knives, and weapons: safeguard and make sure (the former) is packed with protection from plastic bags. The latter two: ensure they’re cleaned and coated with a good coating of oil and fully operational.

Read More @ ReadyNutrition.com